How to Give a Great Sacrament Meeting Talk – Part 3.5 of 5: Style (Analogies)

Part 3 here. Part 2 here. Part 1.5 here. Part 1 here. Part 0 here.

Analogies, metaphors, similes, allegories, etc. all can work well in a sacrament meeting talk (or gospel lesson). They can also be where the talk (or lesson) fails completely. Because Jesus taught in parables (which, when asked, Jesus interpreted allegorically), these types of teaching tools have the highest possible endorsement. But caution is also warranted.

Continue reading

Mormons appear in the most interesting places…. #2: Steroid Nation

Though my reading matter currently focuses on my dissertation, occasionally I read something not at all related, just to keep myself sane and my mind from becoming too specialized (although it’s interesting how often this “extracurricular” reading works its way into my dissertation).

Though I am not much of a sports guy, I do exercise regularly (specifically, I do CrossFit) – so, when I saw this book, I thought it looked interesting enough to read. Steroid Nation: Juiced Home Run Totals, Anti-aging Miracles, and a Hercules in Every High School: The Secret History of America’s True Drug Addiction by Shaun Assael is an interesting, well written book that deals with the use and abuse of steroids and other drugs in America. Full of lots of interesting anecdotes, salacious scandals, and depressing stories, overall I enjoyed it.

Except for the part about Mormons. Because, according to this author, Mormonism is partly to blame for steroid abuse in America.

Continue reading

How to Give a Great Sacrement Meeting Talk – Part 2 of 5: Arrangement

Part 1.5 here. Part 1 here. Part 0 here.

Now that you have all of your sources in order, it’s time to arrange them. The standard idea of having an introduction, a body, and a conclusion works well for sacrament meeting talks. Introductions and conclusions are often overlooked, even though they can make an otherwise good talk seem great.

Continue reading

How to Give a Great Sacrament Meeting Talk – Part 1 of 5: Invention.

(Apologies for this being a day late. My Internet connection was down for a large chunk of time yesterday).

Invention, in the simplest definition, is coming up with the material to discuss – your topic, your thesis, etc. This is easy, right? After all, the bishop (or stake president, or whoever) assigns you a topic, and there you go. Invention is done for you. Now, all you have to do is find a few General Authority quotes, add a few personal anecdotes, and you have talk. Right?

Wrong. In many ways, invention is the hardest part of writing a talk, and it’s often where the talk goes wrong.

Continue reading